Media and Entertainment graduate earns top paper award

Sarah Scott
Sarah Scott

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 13, 2021) — Sarah Scott, a recent graduate with a bachelor's degree in media entertainment and a minor in international affairs, has ended her time at Kennesaw State University with a remarkable accomplishment. While completing her capstone class, Sarah entered the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Ad Division where she won the best paper award in the Student Paper Competition. Sarah’s award is even more impressive as she entered the graduate student division as an undergrad student and took away first prize.

Sarah’s paper, titled, “McAds: Where Collectivism and Culture Collide”, examined the differences between American and Chinese ads from McDonald’s. 

She was looking for a way to combine her interests in cultures and languages to work it into her project on advertising. Her paper looks at the careful thought and precise methods that go into advertising while also focusing on how companies transform their standard operations to suit a local context.

“We have very different cultures,” explained Scott, “We’re more individualistic and China is more collectivistic. They care more about what other people think of them while we don’t really care what other people think of us, so their ads are very different.”

Sarah’s research process involved comparing ads from McDonald’s’ social media pages and analyzing differences in language, color and aspects of culture. “This was a good opportunity to not only study ads but to also use my linguistic translating skills”, ssaid Scott.

While she admits the process was harder than it looks, Scott gives credit to Dr. Erin Ryan for making the process more enjoyable and manageable. She also credits her an internship at the Kennesaw Journal of Undergraduate Research. Sarah hopes to use what she has learned in her future career in advertising.

“I’ve always wanted to do marketing and I would love to apply my knowledge of culture to help target ads to anyone.”

-- written by Jhordan John